Q: How important are energy efficiency jobs?
A: Two and a quarter million Americans work in energy efficiency, an industry that added more new jobs in 2017 than any other in the entire U.S. energy sector. Efficiency workers do much more than squeeze out energy waste. They represent a thriving economic development engine devoted to designing and building a better, healthier future.
A: The data foundational to Energy Efficiency Jobs in America originate with the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), a comprehensive look at all energy jobs in the United States. The USEER presents data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) to track employment across many energy production, transmission, and distribution subsectors. In addition, the 2018 USEER includes data from a unique supplemental survey of 23,000 business representatives across the U.S.
Q: Can you tell me more about the supplemental survey?
A: Created and conducted by BW Research and approved by the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the survey of 23,000 businesses (conducted Nov. 2017 – Jan. 2018) identifies energy-related employment within key subsectors of the industries classified by the U.S. BLS. These jobs are then assigned to their component energy and energy efficiency sectors.
This additional detailed data for the 53 separate technologies that comprise the four surveyed energy sectors. Each of these technologies is, in turn, divided into as many as seven industrial classifications. As a result, with the supplemental survey the USEER is able to provide an in-depth view of the hiring difficulty, in-demand occupations, and demographic composition of very specific portions of the energy and energy efficiency workforce in each state or in specific counties and, in some cases, portions of counties.
See more details about the research methodology here: Electric Power Generation and Fuels; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles.
Q: What counts as an “energy efficiency job” in this report?
A: Energy efficiency employment covers jobs in both the production of energy-saving products and the provision of services that reduce end-use energy consumption. These services include not only the manufacture of ENERGY STAR appliances and other ENERGY STAR labeled products, but also building design and contracting services that provide insulation, improve natural lighting, and reduce overall energy consumption across homes and businesses.
Jobs in sales and professional services (i.e., those in finance/accounting, architecture, engineering, and R&D) are also included, as well as a tiny percentage of “other” jobs such as nonprofit organizational positions.
Energy efficiency jobs are predominantly focused on how effectively energy is used; e.g., how well a system cools or heats a building, and how to reduce waste via advanced materials and smart technology. You may consider the report a point-in-time count of workers directly employed in energy efficiency at the close of 2017.
Q: Are any energy efficiency jobs excluded from Energy Efficiency Jobs in America?
A: Yes, the report is a conservative estimate. This report only captures employment with certified energy efficiency products or those installed according to ENERGY STAR guidelines, as well as advanced building materials such as insulation. Jobs in advanced transportation and electric grid technologies, water or waste management, and those related to energy efficient manufacturing processes are omitted, among other categories. Indirect or induced employment are not modeled or estimated. Also excluded are jobs related to vehicle efficiency and the 4.2 million jobs related to efficient manufacturing processes.
Q: How do energy efficiency jobs numbers compare to other industries?
A: Very favorably! Energy efficiency workers now outnumber elementary and middle school teachers and are nearly double the jobs in U.S. law enforcement. There are also as many energy efficiency workers as waitstaff in U.S. bars and restaurants. (BLS/USEER)
At a technology level, energy efficient workers involved in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) outnumber all of America’s legal workers, including lawyers, court reporters, judges, and paralegals. There are also more ENERGYSTAR appliance and efficient lighting workers than real estate brokers and sales agents, and efficiency jobs in building materials and insulation outnumber pharmacists in the U.S.
Q: Who are the authors of this report?
Q: Can I get the job numbers for my state?
A: Yes! The report provides details about all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You can view by county and metropolitan areas as well as by legislative district (Congressional and state).
Q: I want to see examples of real people behind the numbers. Do you provide any local workers in my state?
A: You can access examples in various ways. In the report, each state is represented by a “Face of EE” whose photo offers a glimpse of the real people in the energy efficiency workforce. Visit www.e2.org/eejobsinamericato meet clean energy workers including those employed in energy efficiency. See www.e4thefuture.org/faces-of-ee for additional fact sheets not contained in the report, with many more workers pictured.
Q: How can I support the growth of energy efficiency jobs in America, my state or region, and my community?
A: If you are a worker or professional involved in energy efficiency, you may join the Faces of EE at no cost: See Count Me In! Anyone can see and use educational materials designed to raise awareness, available here. And anyone can take the “Clean Jobs Count” pledge, E2’s campaign to advance awareness and support of America’s fastest-growing energy sector. Clean Jobs Count unites clean energy workers, business leaders, and investors to call on lawmakers to stand up for smart energy efficiency and renewable energy policies.